ASCA News Digest (October 19, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Make sure all the physicians in your ASC get a copy of the newest edition of ASCA’s “ASC Physician Brief.” This issue looks at the Biden administration’s Medicare priorities, trends in physician employment and how to protect your ASC from a cyberattack. These quarterly, one-page news briefs provide at-a-glance reporting that can help ASC physicians lead their facilities to future success. Please encourage all your ASC’s physicians to subscribe.
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Reserve your spot now for ASCA’s 2022 Virtual Coding & Reimbursement Seminar! This popular virtual seminar provides essential training for ASC billers and coders.

During three afternoons in January—Monday, January 10; Tuesday, January 18; and Monday, January 24—you’ll hear from industry experts as they discuss the coding and billing updates for 2022 and share strategies you can use to maximize your ASC’s reimbursements.
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Data submission for the third quarter (Q3) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey closes Sunday, October 31. Subscribers should make sure to submit their data by the deadline to get a complete picture of trends for the year.

Not yet subscribed to the 2021 survey? Purchase a subscription now.
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Go online to take advantage of ASCA’s free, members-only Medicare payment resources. These tools include the Medicare Rate Calculator, spreadsheets for different code groups in the 2022 proposed payment rule and a 2022 proposed rule analysis.

These resources help you determine national and local payment rates for the procedures your ASC plans to perform in 2022 and offer you valuable assistance in determining the impact of Medicare’s proposed payment changes for 2022 on your ASC.
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Over the course of the late summer, states across the country grappled with a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven largely by the Delta variant and exacerbated by a slowdown in new vaccinations. Hospitals and health systems once again faced shortages of ICU beds and a few states began looking for additional tools to curb the newest wave of infections.

One of these tools is a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Read this Digital Debut for a closer look at how eight states are handling pushback on their mandates.
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The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced a 60-day grace period for those who did not meet the Reporting Period 1 submission deadline for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) grants. The reporting deadline for payments received between April 10 through June 30, 2020, was September 30, 2021, and while this deadline did not change, in response to challenges providers are facing given the recent COVID-19 surges and natural disasters around the country, a 60-day grace period is in place. This grace period only pertains to the Reporting Period 1 submission deadline.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Healthline (10/12/21)
For postsurgical pain, few medications provide more relief than opioid-based pain relievers. However, these medications have a high potential for misuse and addiction, and can be dangerous when use is continued beyond the point when they are needed to manage postsurgical pain.
Healthline (10/12/21)
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RevCycle Intelligence (10/13/21) Jacqueline LaPointe
Healthcare organizations are planning to reconsider physician compensation, hiring, and other initiatives if Congress does not stop looming Medicare payment cuts. Almost half (47 percent) of medical groups and integrated health systems recently polled by AMGA said they would redesign physician compensation if the cuts totaling nearly 10 percent of Medicare payments to physicians are enacted on January 1st.
RevCycle Intelligence (10/13/21) Jacqueline LaPointe
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Healthcare IT News (10/14/21) Kat Jercich
A study published this week from the patient experience vendor WELL Health found that the vast majority of frontline clinical support staff are reporting moderate to extreme burnout. Nearly two-thirds say they've considered switching jobs or quitting due to stress.
Healthcare IT News (10/14/21) Kat Jercich
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Ocular Surgery News (10/18/21) Erich Martin
The future of cataract surgery in the U.S. may involve divergent pathways in order to accommodate increasingly common "add-ons" without devaluing the procedure as a whole, according to one speaker here. "We have lots of ways that we can add benefit and quality to cataract surgery through the years," Kendall E. Donaldson, MD, MS, said during a presentation at OSN New York discussing the logistics of concierge cataract surgery.
Ocular Surgery News (10/18/21) Erich Martin
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Gainesville Times (GA) (10/15/21) Nick Watson
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Dr. Brad Auffarth said some women fell out of the routine of receiving annual breast cancer screenings. "I have definitely seen several breast cancers that were from delay and they sort of got lost in the process," Auffarth said.
Gainesville Times (GA) (10/15/21) Nick Watson
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HHS News Release (10/13/21)
Ransomware remains a major threat to the health sector worldwide, with many healthcare organizations operating legacy technology with limited security resources. Health or medical clinics continue to be the most frequently affected sub-industry by ransomware followed by healthcare industry services and hospitals.
HHS News Release (10/13/21)
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News summaries © copyright 2021 SmithBucklin

About ASCA

Mission: The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) is the national membership association that represents ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and provides advocacy and resources to assist ASCs in delivering high-quality, cost-effective ambulatory surgery to all the patients they serve.

About Us: At ASCA, we are eager to help you become better acquainted with our nation's ASCs and the people who own and operate them. We are also eager to help you develop policies on ASC-related issues. If you have questions, please contact us. We'll put you in touch with the experts and, if you like, arrange for you to visit an ASC in your area.

Contact Us: Advertising inquiries should be addressed to Chris Schriever or Alex Yewdell at 202.337.1897 or at advertising@ascassociation.org.

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